What is an Exercise Physiologist?

Throughout my years of studying to be an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) I was always presented with the question “What is an AEP?” and “What clientele would you work with?” so I believe this article has the potential to clarify many unanswered questions.

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP) are allied health professionals completing a degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. AEP’s treat illness with physical activity and have the potential to prevent injuries by limiting sedentary behavior. Our aim is to restore physical function, improve health and wellbeing and prevent chronic health conditions. Not limited to physical activity, AEP’s can provide education on conditions and explain how exercise can benefit them.

Prior to completing an exercise program an initial assessment is completed. This includes a screening of the client to have a full understanding of client difficulties, coping mechanisms, functional limitations and identifying goals of rehabilitation.

Our Clientele

Accredited Exercise Physiologists work with a large population with a variety of different conditions these include metabolic, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurological, kidney, respiratory, mental health, cancer conditions.

Cardiovascular conditions including but not limited to hypertension, post-heart attack, chronic heart failure, peripheral artery disease. Physical activity assists with effective blood flow and avoiding deconditioning post-cardiac event however most importantly reduces the risk of further cardiac events.

Metabolic conditions including but not limited to diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, sleep apnoea and metabolic syndrome. Physical activity assists in weight loss, improvement in blood lipid profile and preventing the likelihood of further progressive conditions.

Musculoskeletal conditions including but not limited to knee reconstructions, hip replacements, shoulder tears, dislocations. Conservative or post-operative rehabilitation is essential to prevent the reoccurrence of injuries. Physical activity encourages a range of motion and strength improvements post-injury and permits the ability to perform activities completed pre-injury.

Kidney & respiratory conditions including but not limited to kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma, emphysema. Physical activity assists in reducing signs and symptoms such as sputum production and coughing while reducing deconditioning of the lower extremities, common with this clientele.

Mental health & Cancer including but not limited to depression, anxiety, breast cancer, prostate cancer. Exercise assists in improving physical fitness and the ability to complete everyday tasks however most importantly, reduce the risk of falls, muscle wasting and the development of osteoporosis.

Neurological conditions including but not limited to strokes, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Physical activity assists in slowing degenerative conditions and reducing the severity of symptoms.

Upon completion of my degree, I will have the ability to assist those with the above conditions and sympathize with them. The overall purpose for my desire to become an AEP is to impact the lives of those who require it most. Exercise has the potential to reduce symptoms and decrease the risk of developing further conditions therefore if you are experiencing these conditions and require extra assistance in improving your condition, please contact Absolute Balance on 9244 5580 or via email on info@absolutebalance.com.au.

 

Danica Falcone 

Exercise Physiologist (Student)

 

References

Leach, H., Danyluk, J., Nishimura, K., & Culos-Reed, S. (2015). Evaluation of a Community-Based Exercise Program for Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Treatment. Cancer Nursing38(6), 417-425. doi: 10.1097/ncc.0000000000000217

Hansen, D., Dendale, P., van Loon, L. and Meeusen, R. (2010). The Impact of Training Modalities on the Clinical Benefits of Exercise Intervention in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease Risk or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Sports Medicine, 40(11), pp.921-940.

Playford, D. (2011). Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 82(11), p.1185.